point and counterpoint from same sources

May 4th, 2021

Bill Maher defends aged President Biden as paradigm of wise experience and railroad against youthful folly.

And… 2013 … Bill Maher says we have too many old people in politics.

And maybe it is not entirely contradictory. The two positions of one old guy at the Executive branch demonstrating wisdom and experience against a whole pile of old people in Congress showing senility and out of touch disconnects can easily be rectified.  Still, I sense your partisan situational value judgements at play.

Say for example,  Off in a debate over Washington DC statehood, the idea from the likes of Susan Collins of moving the place into Maryland gets poo pooed with the quite right claim — “Republicans just don’t want 2 new Democratic Senators”.  Surely you jest, as though that isn’t a good enough reason to oppose — and never mind it accomplishes that which is at issue on the license plate — ” Taxation Without Representation”, even if it isn’t popular move amongst DC residents who can quickly point out “What about Wyoming?”. Sure, but then… Say you don’t annex DC into Maryland and give it statehood…  What about Seattle?  See my point there?

Actually maybe Cleveland would be better, as Democrats would not want Seattle statehoid as unless the rest of Washington is annexed into Idaho, it is just 2 Democratic Senators offset by 2 new Republican senators.

Working theory on Biden as untouchable versus Trump’s coming sooner or later…

Orwellian Riverdale

May 3rd, 2021

I have been compiling — for my own amusement — a batch of pages from Archie Comics which saw the editors of the company make small alterations years later in reprinting in digests, particularly amused by somewhat arbitrary changes for anything inferring something sexual.  A little less interesting but perhaps more profuse is the manner they have, over the years, changed references to current years — tending to look badly — so I recall an instance with everyone dressed in high 1970s polyester outfits supposedly now (or then) set in 1991.

Now here is an interesting 1983 issue from Archie Comics where the wacky gang in Riverdale see the encroaching totalitarian government squashing them at every turn — now set in 2018.

It appears that this title — Archie at Riverdale High — became the go to place for the company to dump turgid “serious issues”, comics as public service announcements — and lessons that belong in after school specials.  So we get the obligatory “don’t smoke” propaganda, and the discovery that that dumb lunk head Moose isn’t dumb — he just has dyslexia.  This issue of the series, I guess, is your Afterschool Special about the encroachment of Big Brother.

A little bit of kudos to the editors of the digest in reprint selections, as pre facing in the same issue is a more lightheaded allusion to Orwell which, I guess you can read as an earlier chapter to the story where it is shown that these civil liberties issues are swirling around in Archie’s head for when things escalate and things get serious and Mr. Weatherbee’s ego-maniacal tendencies explode into a power grab.

Actually the whole digest has stray political and civil liberties themes woven in from all directions — a story where the kids protest against a parking lot inspired by a student hippy girl sits along with a story where Archie “narcs” on a misguided delinquent kid who claims his “School Stinks” graffiti is a political statement– why, he’s right out of Dostoyevsky’s Demons! Mind you, the stories aren’t interesting in and of themselves but together it gets clever. (For the selection of ‘Archie 3000 stories, the editpr was probably kicking themself for having reprinted this too recently.)

But just as a reader of Archie digests are left wondering what polyester and huge collars doing in 1991, or a crude redrawing of a walkman playing “The Go-Gos” into an MP3 player playing “The Britney Spears” in the oughts, the change from 1983 to 2018 leaves to a simple problem: all very quaint, the 1983 surveillance system. If only we could go back to that! Today we have much more intrusive manners to monitor and affect behaviour of the student body — as we have seen stories of purchasing the service of an nsa-esque minitoring agency to folliw students’ social media accounts and stories of school laptops that can record students as they use them — wherever. So what is the point of retrofitting the year to 2018 when the technology does not follow apace?

And I will leave it to someone else to decide whether the change from 1983 to 2018 counts as “Orwellian”. I don’t think so — at any rate, we’ve seen worse.

As for the rest, I can’t help but note that Dilton’s hacking of the ATM and receiving gobs of money would not get him thanks from the local bank president for exposing the limits and errands of technology, so much as get him a felony prison sentence. And the manner in which the buteacratic red tape from a series of government regulations from, successively, an arrogant Pentagon, Labor Department, and EPA leaves Mr. Lodge in a Kafkaesque bind is moderately amusing.

Not so bad

May 2nd, 2021

From the comments section of a National Review online article here, in places the argument holds, buT then a situational what about is m smashes it .

C’mon man, after all they live in the same pseudoreality as Conman-in-Chief Biden who also claims the 6Jan2021 riot at the Capital was “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War”, overlooking, ignoring, or plan ole having lost memory of:  10Nov1898, Wilmington SC; 2Jul1915, Captiol Bldg, Washington DC; 7Dec1941; 1Mar1954, Capitol Bldg, PRNP, Washington DC; 2May1967, Sacramento CA; 1Mar1971, Capitol Bldg, Washington DC; 29Jan1975, State Dept, Washington DC and Oakland CA; 30Mar1981, Hinckley, Washington DC; 7Nov1983, M19, Capitol Bldg, Washington DC; 19Apr1995, McVeigh and Nichols, OKC OK; 11Sept2001; 2002, John Allen Mohammed and Lee Boyd Malvo; 15Apr2013, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Boston MA; 14Jun2017, Hodgkinson, Alexandria VA; as well as a year-worth of vandalism, looting, arson, and murder perpetrated in numerous cities and States throughout most of 2020 and continuing unto today, including at the time he asserted his delusional prevarication.

To be sure, the 6Jan2021 riot at the Capital was a bigger threat and bigger deal than Benghazzi 2012.  The reason it jumps ahead of some of them — particularly that last reference — and perhaps lies on a different plane where we study it as a separate thing with different problems 

— even if, sure sure, you would rather be at the Washington Capitol than at the OKC Federal Building on that day in 1995 BUT — 

— lies in it being a sanctioned act by Trump to overrule a democratic process of elections and transfer of power.

We are in definitions here.  No, 6Jan2021 riot was not as bad an attack on our democracy as 7December1941, or 10Nevember1898 — though some will insist on comparing it more closely to that one than this random National Review online commenter — 

But we are in an interesting realm of argument, one which probably sits more easily with the hyperbolic claim of voting restriction measures as “Jim Crow on Steroids” — with that one by definition — no, and it is a wash to me on whether the hyperbolicism of the charge focuses on the equitable problems or can get laughed away in its absurdity leaving no room to convince the unconvinced.

But this historical overview leads to a feeling of nitpicking.  “Hey.  We’ve had worse!”

When you get 2 percent of the vote … Somewhere

May 1st, 2021

I. Larouche Org Declares War on Oprah.

Cloret Carl Ferguson has a call to action to the citizens of Brattleboro.

Who holds the Oprahs, Bezos, Gates, and Soroses to account, boasting of their trillions gained in 2020 – the pandemic year – knowing their mass of wealth is built on the corpses of so many millions of people?

Reader, will you act?


Ron Wieczorek writes to his editor … a chilling vision of coming doom.

Because you didn’t listen, we are now at the brink of a third world war, as the NATO allies conduct an intensifying policy of containment and confrontation against China and Russia. Should such a war occur, it would rapidly escalate into thermonuclear extinction of civilization. Instead of geopolitics, LaRouche proposed a dialogue of cultures, and a World Land-Bridge of development corridors.

These are the stakes: Oprah must be stopped.

II. Kanye West. Bernie Sanders, Gus Hall, Pat Buchanan. DSA. Chris Christie. Trump’s finance chairman is Lyndon LaRouche. Tulsi Gabbard. Kris Kobach. Lin Wood and Krakens. “neoconservatism”. (Positively) Caitlyn Jenner. John Cox. black hammer as “Larouche / red guard Austin” thing. jd vance. Trump supporting facebook protests.

One query — Mike Gravel — did he “become a Larouchite” after his time as Senator… Or after his run for President? Important distinctions in finding meaning here. (His alliance here perenial subject, with sometimes unclear reference points.)

III. Dateline Australia

A group representing post office licensees has defended links to a fringe political party accused of racism, anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories.

Licensed Post Office Group copped bipartisan criticism at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over links to the Australian Citizens Party.

LPO Group executive director Angela Cramp said it was great to receive support from the party.

“I have no understanding of what the citizens party represents. They are citizens of Australia. They are aligned with us,” she told the hearing.

Liberal senator Sarah Henderson asked why LPO Group’s campaign to phone ministers’ offices urging for former Australia Post boss Christine Holgate to be reinstated was aided by the party.

“I am questioning why you would be working with an organisation known to be anti-Semitic, racist and also with many of its policies’ foundation in conspiracy theories,” she said.

Cramp believes Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s furious rebuke of former Australia Post boss Christine Holgate in parliament was a “calculated set up” rather than an overreaction.

Twitter reaction: party that is over 30 years old and is far different to when it first formed. So ideological change is not allowed in your world? Is any party the same now, as what it was 30 years ago?

Rebutted with: LoL Are they or are they not still affiliated with the international LaRouche Movement? And the policy of re-establishing a government bank would hurt the LPOs and their Bank@Post deal.

also out of australiaand

IV. So many memories…

Hands up who misses the “how to tell if your neighbour has been brainwashed about Lyndon LaRouche” page?

Remember the LaRouche crackpots staked out at the Tax Assessor’s office on Lake Front?

What’s the most awkward date y’all ever been on?

say da This one time I came up on a guy handbilling near a community board meeting. Another dude was screaming at him calling him a communist. I told mad guy to fuck off and go back inside. It turned out guy #1 was a fascist with the Lyndon Larouche cult. Told him to fuck off too.

Deleted: In my college years, being curious about politics, I got a LaRouche book. I tried to read it. I considered myself a reasonably informed and intelligent person. I could not for the life of me figure out what the movement was about.

I went back and started reading about it the other day and, same

heh. No joke, would consider it. such fond memories of arguing w/LaRouchie who hung out outside my bank on Vermont Ave in Los Feliz & insisted Bertrand Russell wanted nuclear war; I’d say “no he’s *describing* it cuz he’s against it” and we’d just repeat ourselves until I got tired

gonna lie, I kinda miss seeing these goofs around, from 2001-2016 they were everywhere in L.A., Philly, NYC

Say Da I remember the Lindon LaRouche people walking with signs of Obama wearing a Hitler Moustache calling him a Nazi in 2009 as I was driving, my wife started yelling at them for the fascists they were.

Oh yeah – There were LaRouchites, pushing that garbage, outside my local post office in 2009.

wish Lyndon LaRouche was still around terrorizing northern Virginia

There was a LaRouche acolyte who used to come hand out pamphlets and wear sandwich boards outside Yeshiva University. He was always mostly cordial, which struck me as incredibly odd for a Holocaust denier.

Really?Everyone finally found out about Gazi and LaRouche. The other weird-ass founders of orgs people tried to recruit me into in 2016 will become memes soon enough

Point: A big reason I never even flirted with 9/11Truth was that by 9/13, LaRouche ppl were on campus insisting it was an inside job bc only US military pilots would know how to disable transponders & navigate expertly through NYC to hit those targets. Their certainty, just 2 days later, based on such clearly wrong assumptions pretty much innoculated me.

Counterpoint: What was your introduction into the “Conspiracy Life”? 9/11 did it for me.. but I used to read/listen to my dad read Lyndon LaRouche when I was a little kid. He used to get a newsletter, and tell me all the good conspiracy sItories. #LaRouche #GoodDadMemories

hm. such fond memories of arguing w/LaRouchie who hung out outside my bank on Vermont Ave in Los Feliz & insisted Bertrand Russell wanted nuclear war; I’d say “no he’s *describing* it cuz he’s against it” and we’d just repeat ourselves until I got tired

ok. Boyle talking about Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss i feel like I’m 15 years ago, in the streets of Washington, spreading Lyndon Larouche’s “Children of Satan” pamphlet.

I once wasted an hour on the LaRouche drones. Never again. 😂❤️

I nearly missed a flight out of Houston Hobby (i.e., cops offered me option to return my husband in the bar or be detained) in the early 80s for picking a fight with Lyndon LaRouche followers.

I also ran into LaRouche folks at a table in front of City Hall in Monterey, CA about 4 yrs ago. They remain crazy as ever. (No police intervention was needed that time

and… i went to a cadem convention in college. grim affair. however there was a literal choir of larouchies sing-protesting outside

V. LORG makes friends and influences people.

Bunch of lies! They have been against the green movement because it was the late prince Phillip who wrote it not AOC. The eat babies comment was to mute AOC! Not a real comment, but a distraction to green polices that will limit the relative potential of all humans. Go be Amish

What you’re dealing with in this situation, is a victim of mass-brainwashing by the U.S. media, an individual who has taken his opinion from a mass media.

Sure. That time LaRouche wrote the introduction to a book collaborating with an Argentine colonel (guess what side) wherein the argument is made against victims of torture seeking justice in US courts

Fishing for Larouche recruits… Q Assist. Is the Larouche Organization trying for qanoners by way of subterfuge now?

Intrigued by this Breitbart promotes Newton trap against Science and hypothesis! Lyndon LaRouche is correct about British Agent Newton, which suggests Breitbart is mirroring a Larouche narratve, I google what it is Breitbart has on Newton… Oh, chiding some collegiate reframing of Newton’s “white privilege”. Other bits of names dropping conspiracies… Personally, Ican never recall if Nicholas de CUSA is on the friend, foe, or moved from one to the other list.

So it is… Larouche is like a kitsch American gift store retailing all the wares of European thought in distorted and warped forms. Trotskyist critiques of the Soviet Union become theories about how the Soviet Union was created by MI6 and Financial Capital tied to City of London etc If I had spent years in the American SWP I’d write books about how Trotsky was a British agent too. Truth be told, if intelligence operatives weren’t involved in organisations like the SWP, what were they doing with their budgets? Those organisations are all shit for class struggle too. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire western left is Larouche-lite compromised today.U

Daniel Burke sees someone quoting Confucius and Mao, reaches out. As the old Milennials give way to the next “Youth Movement” the big push happening now, the question is — Is there a mass of Zoomer Maoists for the taking?

Mike Billington does McDuff Livesand garners a This guy really likes China.

Curious response to Schlanger : I am Jewish and even I can see the manipulation.

Meantime, over in lpac-land, Putin, like Trump, RULES. Biden sucks; Giuliani rules.

In as much as politicos are ever discussed, if they want to deal with Matt Gaetz, they can possibly hit hard the medical marijuana angle even if before you get there you are staring at Roger Stone. Probably best to change topics to Mozart and Trains — even though the latter topic is Biden – Buttigieg complicated.

A sign of revulsion from he target market on China.

VI. Electoral Digging.

HEY! is it acceptable to put a Lyndon LaRouche bumper sticker on my car?

Digging into voting data as to the Democratic nomination race in Arkansas 2000 and 2012. See here a dissection of Larouche’s 1984 Presidential vote — and this map spotlighting his best counties where he cracked 2 percent.

Noted, this accused Mondale in ads of being ”an agent of Soviet influence” controlled by a Swiss-dominated ”international grain cartel.”
. Watching the Mondale bahing clip again, I notic that even though I had been placing that “Swiss Grain Cartel”, he never mentions Swiss. I think I have been spreading a falsehood, picked up by multiple figures online, including “mill”…

… Who now also has a pretty awesome map for third party winners by candidate in the 1988 election.

Forgotten merchandise.

I miss Lyndon LaRouche pasting a Hitler ‘stache on the incumbent and calling it a presidential campaign.

Interesting quotes from Lyndon, suggesting a heretofore unknown love of Presidents Garfield and Mckinnley, and… a similar phrase as that used by  Jesse Jackson at the 2000 DNC Convention.

Matthew Yglesias gives out a Roschach Test.


VII.  The Mass Strike is elsewhere.

Dateline somewhere or other: Seeing LaRouche people outside the post office is so surreal dude

Daniel Burke fights it out in Peapack, New Jersey … And thermonuclear war never had a chance!  (Had De har)

The hordes gather for an alternate “Mars Day”, because ” Earth Day — Feh”.  The Bullhorn Revolution carries.

Date line East coast:  Does setting up your LaRouche movement stand in front of the post office count as “touching grass”?

. AND… There’s this Larouche freak who angrily comments on every lecture uploaded to Robert Brandom’s youtube channel. LORG or LPAC?

VIII.  Mapping disinformation

Commented around hereMatthew Sweet looks at another Russia TV conduit.  And here if you want to pay for it is a dash of a Podcast feature.

IX. Tarpley.

Let the record show, for those observing the machinations of Webster Tarpley and trying to find a conspiratorial plot — under the tutelage of the La rounds movement, he defended Bill Clinton from a vast right wing conspiracy beginning at least in 1994, opposed Obama!a and supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary (wrote an anti-Obama book and for a time maintained an anti Obama positioning more consistently than Larouche —  they briefly explored the dark side in December 2008 — but managed to slide into the anti Republican positioning with a new anti Romney book in 2012 which merged to an echo of Democratic politics by the end of the Obama years.  (I am not sure where his pro Putin, exemplified by his ” Putin for Nobel Peace Prize” rally — moved off the table.)

Another blast from the past: Recall Lyndon Larouche’s female African American running mate 4 U.S. president, saying on a TV show, paraphrasing..”Populism is the way to go”. Her clothing was not typical 4 U.S. politician.. Who is that?

In Partial Defense of Marjorie Taylor Greene

April 29th, 2021

I see another one of them items in the daily deluge of articles — favored by Huffington Post and infowars — of “Disfavored politico said something we deem nutty, snarky Twitter responses followed”. Last night’s Biden address brought out a patch of them for the theatrics of Ted Cruz and Lauren Boebert. But my eyes poke to this blaring links bait headline.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Sinks To New ‘Level Of Dumb’ In Biden Speech Criticism.

Considering this is a person who has plumbed some rather dumb depths, this is quite the sell.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) dropped to another “level of dumb” for blasting President Joe Biden’s push Wednesday to expand free education, one Twitter critic said.

We are off to a weak start. Maybe I am getting old and out of touch, but I am astounded by a casual use of headlines about pronouncements from something called “influencer”. This “Twitter critic” doesn’t even have the gravitas for that title, apparently.

In an address to Congress, the president outlined a vast “American Families Plan,” which among other things would create free universal pre-K and two years of tuition-free community college.

But the QAnon-supporting Greene, who was stripped of her House committee assignments for spouting tinfoil-hat theories, bashed the proposal as just another conspiracy.

Federally funded school from age 3 to 20 doesn’t sound like education, it sounds like indoctrination,” she tweeted. “All at your expense. By force in the form of taxes.”

So, it is in the main one of her smarter comments, even if deficiencies may lie in the details. Great. Now I am the annoying position of sticking up for Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The educational system is always a touchy subject, but here the Congress critter is mouthing sentiments expressed for unsettled teen angst by Pink Floyd and My Chemical Romance (the latter band in largely just ripping off the former), various curmudgeonly social critics and stand up acts. She herself may have picked up or been in circles reading John Taylor Gatto; — ad everyone shifts over to some home school model — probably not Howard Zinn but criticism of the like sits with his work too. As it were, we see always lines of culture war getting fought at the Educational Bureaucracy level — with what do we indoctrinate our kids? (That story about Idaho’s “banning” of “critical race theory” is interesting framing, in suggesting the most unproblematic and pure unimpeachable inarguably nature of crt, with any opposition or criticism seen as a flat out denial of racism on America and teaching anything on it. But so goes binary Either/or chose your side now politicking, sweeping under any and all queasy permutations for your cause.)

On the actual policy choices she is criticizing — it is not as though “free college tuition” is an unalloyed good. Not everyone should go to college and to suggest such devalues college — so the effect will this tend to be a wealth redistribution upward — the upper middle class suburbanites better prepped than poor rural and urbanites for the goods. I suppose noting this is why we move onto the great “community college” — here I note that just about the only line the live blogging of the conservative National Review gave a positive review for in Biden’s speech was a couple words on creating jobs “that don’t require college” –in theory the “positive” reorientation for their party in finding “Trump I am without Trump”. Diverting from Greene’s idea of “indoctrinating through age 20” — the creation of a refactoring “13th grade” or “high school with ashtrays” (apparently not menthols, though) is an undesirable possible effect here. Methinks the offer of “free community college”, however you work out the logistics and ” who’s gonna pay for it?” — could be delayed… Like, have it for everyone that they can utilize later in their twenties or thirties. Maybe Joe Manchin can think through this.

I do note that when President George W Bush offered as an answer on what he would say he to the unemployed on what he has to offer, his “Here’s a thousand dollar credit for community college” was met with guffows from liberals. Partially justifiably: partially not.


April 27th, 2021

On that mass shooting at a massage parlor/ prostitution din

The initial stories about mass shootings are almost always wrong. Columbine had very little to do with bullying and social outcasts. The Orlando shooter likely wasn’t targeting gay men. The Virginia Tech shooting had just about nothing to do with “gun culture.” The list goes on.

A couple of years from now, after the killer has been convicted and sentenced, we’re going to find out that this whole thing was more complicated, more tragic, and more weird than we could possibly imagine. By that point, no one will notice.

And if men have a tendency to shoot sex workers and if sex workers in some areas are predominantly Asian, than do we just get to say, well, no racism here, individual or systematic?

And if it is just a normal example of misogyny, well perhaps a country where garden variety misogynists pick up guns and kill large numbers of people may be a problem? Perhaps?

you go the the Young’s Asian Massage to shoot workers, it is not just by chance that the workers shot will be predominantly Asian. If you go to shooting at places that you have been to before and know that the workers are predominantly Asian, then it is not by chance that the people you shoot are predominantly Asian. If on the other hand you shoot sex workers at random you might expect a less biased sample. That this crime has a racial component suffers from obviousness.

That may be true but it speaks directly to a number of issues. (1) Why are massage parlors primarily Asian (and going beyond what you said, usually Korean, Chinese, or Thai); (2) why assume the women are “trafficked” or even what “trafficked” would mean in that case. If the women were advanced the money to travel to the US and find a place to live, and also someone provided them with their visa with the expectation they would “work” the advance off, is that truly “trafficking.” How is that different from bringing a Polish carpenter to Chicago with the expectation he repay his debt working as a carpenter for a non union firm? There is a built in assumption to most discussions of sex work that sex workers are trafficked, which is belied just by reading on line discussions among sex workers. But more importantly (3) Sex work is illegal in Georgia, why were these businesses still operating. Is it because Police turn the other way because Asian businesses are clean and discrete? There are no obvious ties to Italian mafia or Mexican cartels? Or Black gangs?

Is the real issue here, unspoken in any accounts of the murders, is that the police as a matter of course look the other way and allow Asian massage parlors to operate because they are Asian? Illegal sex work in Asian Massage parlors is normalized because the sex workers are an Asian other. What if the massage parlors were Russian? Irish? Polish? Mexican? Or what if they were religiously divided? Roman Catholic? Methodist?

It is good of you to point out that the Asian hate crime angle is wrong—and that the Southern Baptist angle is more wrong. But I am more disturbed by how the sex work aspects are glossed over and themselves the product of what can be called “racial” assumptions.

To blame this crime on “racism” is to absolve our society, and ourselves, of any culpability in allowing these types of “massage” parlors to exist, and to deny the corrosive effect that prostitution, sorry, “sex work,” has on men, let alone women. It also denies the feedback loop of cause and effect that the sexes have on each other. Looking at this crime honestly would result in all the narratives of the sexual revolution and “equality” of the sexes to come tumbling down. We’d have to admit that prostitution is not empowering to women, it enslaves both women and men, in different ways. We’d have to admit that the “Asian fetish” mentioned often in news reports of this crime extends to the communities that look the other way at Asian-owned massage parlors out of an exoticized view of Asian culture’s supposed enlightened take on sexuality.

on polling showing conservative fatalism and justifying it.

I will say that I personally feel that the conservative approach to all social changes, which is to run away (“take your kids out of school and homeschool them!” “get out of the cities and move to the exurbs/the Sun Belt!”) really needs to end, and if conservatives are thinking instead that it’s time to start staying put and facing things, that’s a good thing. But I’ll believe it when I see it.

Those types of surveys are very problematic. People get that they’re being asked, Would you like the results of this poll to show that people think everything’s OK, or would you like it to show that people have a problem with the way things are going? And so they tick the “problem” box, even if the wording doesn’t fully or accurately describe their views.

Questions like that aren’t really designed to further understanding of public opinion; they are designed to give Ezra Klein, David Brooks, et al. a hook for their columns. In their small way they contribute to the reductionism and divisions they purport to record.

Ya Brooks seems to have completely forgotten what happened 4 years ago. After Trump was elected California was supposedly going to succeed they were so pissed off about the world. We heard over and over, in fact we STILL hear about, how Trump and Trumpers were destroying the nation (you know that 47% that voted Trump). I have a friend who played in a military band, and he said after they played for Trump’s inauguration half of these grown men and women wept like babies about it.

This is nothing other than a reflection of the truly divided state of the nation. We now have so little in common that huge portions of society won’t accept as legitimate the other side being in power.

The starbucks down the street got firebombed when I was a kid too (ineffectually as always). Obviously this had nothing to do with Trump since it preceded his election by 20 years. It has been part of Portland culture for all my lifetime for the local anarchists to throw poor functioning molotov cocktails at corporate retailers. Think of it as our version of the running of the bulls for our disaffected and pampered youth. Unfortunately Trump’s election led to a lot of fearful liberals becoming more accepting of this behavior (since they were sure fascism was coming). Trump’s surge reinforced this.

I used to wash dishes at a restaurant that cattered to upper middle class people.And i got a lot of flack from a few customers who found out that i had not voted for Clinton in 2016[ I hadnt voted for Trump either that year.But the customers were still angry at me] And i couldn thelp but think how skilled many of America’s corporate and politcal leaders are. They had managed to convince these customers[ who were also my neighbors] that the biggest threat to America wasnt Big Tech monopolies, nor was it Wall Street greed and incompentence.No! The biggest threat to America was the dishwasher at thier local bar/ restaurant , who sometimes voted Republican

Wall Street and much of corporate America has managed to convince millions of Americans that the biggest threat to America are men and women in rural Ohio who work in places like Walmart.Just because some of those people voted for Trump


Tolkien had no hesitation about “The Return of the King” being a positive good. One king rightwise born of the good blood ending the anarchic division among multiple jurisdictions and bringing an expanded, restored empire under his wise and benevolent rule. Such kings, of course, are only found in literature, epic or novel. That’s why we have to be careful about entrusting anyone with too much power. But its not cut and dried. All power isn’t the ring of Sauron, and all well-meaning, inspiring leaders in real life are not Aragorn.

The hobbits and men in fact did fight their enemies instead of viewing battle as ipso facto illegitimate and once they had emerged victorious set up kingdoms full of beauty instead of viewing rule as ipso facto illegitimate. Tolkein’s point, I believe, was that by seeking power above all else to destroy the evil enemy one is liable to themself become evil, functionally equivalent to the enemy. He was not making the argument that men should ‘turn the other cheek’ and accept the rule of Sauron, Saruman and Orcs instead of resisting nobly and forcefully asserting the primacy of the good (of which a part is that power is not an end in itself and must be used judiciously). This defeatist impulse is what I was criticizing.

The Soviet legacy actually has had some lasting cultural impacts- people in the former Soviet Union tend to be more skeptical of markets and capitalism than people in the western countries.

And how much of that is the old peasant suspicions of city slickers looking to cheat them. IMO, Russia started out well-primed for Marxism.

My grandpa was a cop in Detroit then. The stories he told me led me to the conclusion that drinking didn’t actually decline. It just became less measurable. Pretty much the whole criminal justice system was staffed by opponents of Prohibition from beat cops to judges, so enforcement was minimal and statistics unreliable. He used to bootleg hard liquor across the river from Canada, not for sale, just for personal use, and some of his colleagues would make home brew from ingredients bought at the grocery store or directly from local farmers. I suppose some good came out of the demise of saloon culture, given that all-male drinking parties in homes would end when the host’s wife shooed everybody out where a bartender had motivation to keep his customers drinking as long as possible, but I don’t think it balances out the great expansion in organized crime. Tommy guns could be bought by mail order then, no background checks, no ID, no nuthin’. The big city bootlegger gangs used them in their turf wars, with little concern for the safety of bystanders. It was the bystander casualty rate in these turf wars that led to the first demands for gun control.

Prohibition also closed down the saloon by opening up the speakeasy. The old-time American saloon was a white male affair; the men who frequented it were mostly what we would now call Anglo-American, with a liberal sprinkling of Scots-Irish; foreigners were not particularly welcome and the Germans and Italians had their own places of resort. The saloon was a white, male, nativist safe-space, and a woman couldn’t enter it without risking her reputation. The speakeasy was entirely different. Women were received with open arms; foreigners were plentiful; POCs were evident; everything had changed. The change was indubitably effected by Prohibition, of that there can be no question; but I’m not sure that you, Stari Momak, would have cared for it had you been living in those days; in fact, I’m not sure that you like it even now.

You’re telescoping a lot of time here. The literatures of the classical era did indeed survive well into the fifth century largely intact. The monasteries received many of their libraries as donations from wealthy Christians in Gaul and Italy. The classical curriculum survived well into the Christian Era, both in the Latin West and the Greek East. It was Justinian’s attempt to reunite Italy forcibly to the Empire that finally broke the back of Late Roman civilization in Italy, and not the fifth century Germanic incursions.
If your thesis is that writings disapproved by Christians were allowed to molder away, what explains the survival of Catullus? Or indeed of any pagan writing? It wasn’t just hidden away, forgotten until Petrarch came along and uncovered it a thousand years later, although that’s the popular image based on his discovery of Cicero’s letters. No. Christians then were more urbane than their image among modern Western seculars would have you believe.
I reject the idea that there was wholesale censorship of the classical canon. I DO believe there was censorship of rival “Gnostic” writings, though. But that would have occurred largely in the Greek east.

The question isn’t “can I flourish within mainstream society” but “can my subculture survive living within this society.” You have to be able to differentiate between a fight for the soul of society at large that isn’t winnable by political means, and fights for what your faith specifically needs to exist as a healthy surviving subculture. The latter goal is still very achievable in American and that’s the reason not to turn to burning it all down or to despair.

what we commonly call “Western Civilization” most everything intellectual can be traced back to old Plato and his realm of (capital “I”) Ideas. And again I say that in the most negative way possible.

And we are and have been none the better for it. And we’ll never find a real way out of the mess we’ve been in for centuries until we deal with Plato and put him in his rightful place: in the dustbin of the history of ideas.

Transgendered hagglings

Just for laughs, I started browsing and window-shopping at some progressive fashion stores, in
the Seattle area, that not only sold men’s clothing and women’s apparel, but also had separate sections for “gender fluid,” “nonbinary,” and “genderqueer” textiles.

Ignorantly, I assumed that the men’s section would sell, for instance, pants, the women’s section skirts, the gender fluid section culottes, the nonbinary section skorts, and the genderqueer section scooters, or something like that. I was dead wrong.

The women’s section sold all of the above items and was bigger than the other four sections combined. The men’s section (so as not to alienate the stores cis customers) not only sold typical menswear, but avoided anything even remotely feminine like a bad case of the plague. And the other three sections all sold long pants, shirts, neckties, t-shirts covering the elbows, shorts covering the knees, and other stuff identical to the men’s section—only of A THINNER MATERIAL and MORE BODY-CONTOURED than the “menswear.” Palazzo pants, leggings, capris, yoga pants, etc., were strictly for cis women.

Seriously, Mr. Dreher, when was the last time that your wife/sister/daughter wore a skirt? This is simply the next logical step in casting womanhood as a “step down” from not only manhood, but even from ANDROGYNY, under the flimsy pretense of “equality.” I agree with you 100% that nobody under 18 must get tattooed, pierced, or any other body mutilation. This, however, does not address the elephant in the room—viz., that “girly” has now become a synonym for “weak,” as opposed to one for “beautiful.”


April 23rd, 2021

(Blink. Blink. Blink. Rub my eyes.)

Helms was a leader in the conservative movement and, according to a 2008 obituary, was staunchly opposed to homosexuality.

I am not saying anything on the issues at hand with Tucker Carlson and his college yearbook — the problem here is the choice of citation. From what I can surmise, this is the work of a historically illiterate 20 year old intern without any understanding of why Jesse Helms is bad but with some sense that he may be, turns to the first Google search on Jesse Helms and finds his obituary. According to that 2008 obituary.

A pox on everyone’s houses every which place. Hold on a minute, here’s George W Bush! This is a joke right?

George W. Bush said he’s troubled by ‘the capacity of people to spread all kind of untruth’.

Evidentally George W Bush holds that that ability — to spread mis and dis information — should be reserved for the top echelons of government. Or, at least his.


I think it was Norm McDonald who, in reference to a statement that “the worst thing about Bill Cosby is the hypocrisy” quipped a “no it isn’t”. In personal life — say, parenting, you have to play the role of hypocrite — any number of dangerous behaviors you did as a youth you need to tell your kid not to do. In the arena of politics, it does get tricky — is hypocrisy the one and only problem, and why does the hypocrite caller so often end up in a term of hypocrisy, or perhaps misrepresent the claimed hypocrite into broad strokes? There is this tedious paint by numbers online story style — it is a standard for the Huffington Post and infowars — where when a hated political or other public figure makes some unflavored comment or votes some disfavored fashion — the headline goes that ” so and so Is Destroyed”, and the bulk of the story follows with a long line of tweets calling so and so a poo poo. See here with Josh Hawley. I myself am kind of neutral on hate crimes designation — it does have its juricial problems — but am as glad people can go on Twitter and pillar him for the vote as I am that people can do so with anything said by Maxine Waters for the same basic lazy article from Alex Jones’s website. Understand, it matters not one iota if the person in question deserves a pilloring, the genre is set and gets meaningless because it is used to pillar anything that source disagrees with by whomever they think is evil.


In the wake of the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict, it is interesting to see how Republican heavys calibrate a response to meet that 45 percent of Republicans polled disagree and majority everywhere hold a justice is served. The Arguable Republican 2024 Presidential favorite DeSantis chimes in with one line of pestering. Overall we are dealing with a number of procedural issues that tend not to be the bulliwark of Conservative commentary. Somewhat interesting is the lines of commentary regarding the shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus. Reminding me of the Rightwing reactions to a school bus fight from early in the Obama administration — accurately fingered as a non story and kids behaving badly that needs to be dealt with by school and possibly local police authorities, but the right makes hay as Racial Animus. Though, to be sire, this one does line up with some element of the left downplaying as not worth the attention brought to it. A better analogue for partisan double backing may be that case of opposing anti bullying laws in deference to sensitivity of viewing your kids as homophobes — kids being kids, why micromanage it at such a minute level?

A funny thing about the conservative complaint on late night talk shows being political and thus drone ful… I basically agree but with the caveat of “Who cares?”. Able to slide into YouTube clips of Letterman and Conan. The problem with this partisan dangling is a… So late night tv becomes as the right transformed the am dial of the radio in the early 90s — and you can’t complain, it is what the market makes it.

You can’t complain about Apu’s disappearance from The Simpsons either, because the show’sback catalogue is by far stronger than whatever awaits. Like, I have to puzzle over this positive press on a replacement for a voice actor to a gay character — Hank Azaria out and apparently gay podcaster in — the phrase that clunks is ” pipular character” referring to Julio. I never heard of him. Nothing in The Simpsons is popular after about 2000, and if I have the time right for this paeticular episode — 2003 — that was an espicially bleak time period for the show.